Frank Davies 1936 - 2008
Frank was a notable and widely respected Kings Langley person. He was involved in many aspects of village life His quiet, calm and gentlemanly style belied his energy, his long list of achievements, and his huge enthusiasm for everything he did.
In 1994 he joined the Kings Langley Local History & Museum Society, and in just a year he was elected Chairman of the Society, and he remained so for the rest of his life.
It was perhaps this society which was his greatest interest, and he worked tirelessly to make it the success that it is today; - record membership, big attendances at the speaker evenings, high reputation, and well deserved stature in our community and also in the wider museum and local history circles.
He would have been the first to admit that the one thing lacking was that the Society still does not have its Museum, but in 1999 he planned and organised the best substitute there could be, the Society’s first web site. It was his inspiration and his leadership, and active involvement that made it the success that it was. Alongside the Society’s other archivists, he personally responded to many of the hundreds of e mail enquiries which had been received from all over the world. An example of his energy and enthusiasm is shown in his response to one enquiry about Piers Gaveston, and the Friary in 1315. Many would have given a simple straightforward answer; not Frank, he sent three paragraphs, including details of a sumptuous banquet in the Royal Palace here which was laid on by King Edward ll in honour of Piers. He told of the king’s butler who was ordered to provide 23 tuns of wine, the equivalent of 35,000 bottles by present day reckoning. Three pavilions were carried from London and back. The whole affair, Frank reported, had cost £6 12s 1d ! including the drying of the pavilions “that had become damp.”
He had an impressive knowledge of our local history, which, as that example shows, he happily and generously shared with whoever was interested.
Frank would have been the first to recognise that a web site needs to be up to date and continually improved, and this new site is dedicated to his memory, in grateful thanks to him for all that he did to make the Society what it is today.
Frank left a remarkable record of achievements for the village and those who live in it. All who worked with him and knew him were privileged to do so. All benefited from his example, his quiet but determined capability, his calm and gentle manner and his humour.
He was an inspirational chairman and leader.
Richard J Garnett Harper – Chairman 2010